A frequent collaborator of directors Peter Weir and Gillian Armstrong and one of the most prolific cinematographers in the American film industry, Academy Award-winning director of photography Russell Boyd has been the man behind the camera on such widely revered films as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Deftly balancing his work on such challenging films as the aforementioned titles with mainstream popcorn films like Crocodile Dundee, White Men Can't Jump, and Doctor Dolittle, Boyd seems to have left no cinematic stone unturned.
Boyd was born and raised into a family of farmers in Victoria, Australia, and the young photo enthusiast's first job was working for a small production company that produced newsreels for Australian movie theaters. After performing various on-set jobs over the course of a year, the aspiring photographer was promoted to cameraman, and a few years of newsreel work eventually led to a job at one of Melbourne's top television news broadcasts. Though the job was exciting and the challenges came daily, the young camera operator soon realized that his true ambition was to enter a career in drama. A subsequent move to Sydney four years later found Boyd shooting for a small documentary company and filming commercials, with weekends spent shooting shoestring-budgeted student films with long-time friend Mike Thornhill. When Thornhill decided to make the move into feature territory with the 1974 historical drama Between Wars, the eager Boyd joined him -- sparking off an eventful career that eventually led him to the top tiers of the film industry.